The Independence Harry S Truman Commission has chosen Alvin Brooks as the 2016 Harry S Truman Public Service Award recipient. The award, established in 1974 by the City of Independence, is presented annually to an outstanding American citizen who best typifies and possesses the qualities of dedication, industry, ability, honesty and integrity that distinguished President Harry S Truman.
The Presentation Ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 6 on the front portico of the Harry S Truman Presidential Library and Museum; a public reception will be held preceding the ceremony at 5:15 p.m. in the lobby of the Library.
“The Harry S. Truman Award for Public Service is the highest honor bestowed by the City of Independence,” said City of Independence Mayor Eileen Weir. “The Commission is excited to honor Alvin Brooks with this prestigious award for his tremendous leadership and character.”
Brooks is the 42nd recipient of this national honor and will join an elite list of Harry S. Truman Public Service Award honorees including former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton; veterans of the Iraq & Afghanistan Wars; former U.S. Senator Jack Danforth; as well as patriotic women Coretta Scott King, Margaret Truman Daniel, Mother Clara Hale and Mary Jean Eisenhower.
Brooks was elected to the Kansas City Council in 1999 and 2003 and served as Mayor Pro Tem during his tenure. Brooks helped found Kansas City's Ad Hoc Group Against Crime and served as the organization's president and CEO from 1991 to 2000. In 1989, he was appointed by President George H. W. Bush to serve on the President's National Drug Advisory Council and was named one of America’s 1,000 Points of Light. In 2010, Governor Jay Nixon appointed Brooks to the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners. Brooks has served as a volunteer, leader and consultant to numerous community groups, organizations and causes.
The Harry S Truman Award Commission will also present the 2016 Harry S Truman Award Commission Special Recognition Award to the Community Services League of Independence. The award is in appreciation and acknowledgement of Community Services League dedication to provide aid and support to people in need by assessing their situations and providing solutions that lead to economic stability.
Community Services League was founded in 1916 by a women’s Bible study group that included former First Lady Bess Wallace Truman. Today, it operates 11 services locations in eight suburban Jackson County communities. In 2015, Community Services League assisted more than 15,000 local residents through its four programs: Emergency Assistance, Work Express, Housing Counseling, and the Financial Opportunity Center. Community Services League is a partner agency of United Way of Greater Kansas City, a HUD-certified housing counseling agency, and a USDA food distribution site.
“We could not be more excited to be recognized by the City of Independence, and we extend our deep appreciation to Mr. Brooks for his legacy of community leadership in Kansas City; he is a worthy recipient of the Harry S Truman Public Service Award,” said Doug Cowan, President & CEO of Community Services League. “It has taken many generations of concerned residents to keep CSL going over the years, and this award is a tribute to the hard work that so many have invested over the years, and a nod to the importance that our community places on helping people in need. We are grateful to the Harry S Truman Commission, and Mayor Eileen Weir, for their recognition.”